This fall I have one child at home, even though my husband and I had discussed sending our youngest to preschool this year. Over the summer, as I watched him during programs at the local library, I realized that socially he wasn’t ready for preschool. However, I could see that he’s a smart 4 year old (which is why he gets himself into trouble a.lot). I knew I would need to spend some time one-on-one with him during the day to make my working at home go well during the school year.
When I was asked to review the Wonder Box by Education.com, I was curious to see if this would be similar to the preschool activities I had done with my little ones while homeschooling. I have lots of fond memories doing literary and science-based activities with my oldest son, and doing Montessori ones with the younger 4.
What is Wonder Box?
Designed for kids 3 to 6, Wonder Box is a subscription service that delivers a box full of fun activities right to your door. Each Wonder Box includes instructions and everything needed to complete 3 creative, hands-on projects that explore a theme kids love (like “Once Upon a Time or “The Mad Scientist”). Education.com works with their team of teachers and curriculum experts to choose activities that build critical kindergarten skills. Parents and kids test all the activities to make sure their fun-factors get top marks. They include only the highest quality materials. Every recipient gets access to an exclusive web page full of additional activity ideas. They offer a number of different subscription options and several gift packages. (Prices start at $19.99 per month.)
When the Wonder Box came in the mail, my 4 year old and I sat down and opened it up together. I wanted him to feel special, that this box was for him alone. I think it’s important for the youngest child to have their own special time with Mom. I was impressed by the variety of materials and their quality.
Once school started for the 4 older children, I brought the Wonder Box out one afternoon, and we started exploring what it had to offer. As I opened the box, my son said to me, “Mom, I am so ready for this!” Our box’s theme was the wonderful children’s story, Stone Soup. This version included illustrations for my son to color, plus a page for him to add his own ingredients to the stone soup. I love reading this story because it reinforces sharing and working together.
Next up was the cape. My son came up with the design by himself, and then kept bugging me to iron it for him. Then, he pulled out the story card box. We played around with creating a story with the pictures. My other kids have enjoyed the cards, too. I loved the quality of the illustrations, and that they were printed on very thick cardstock.
Making the “monster” puppet was my son’s favorite activity. Without prompting, he sorted the colored felt pieces into a number of piles, and then worked with me to glue the pieces together. The kit came with a small tube of Tacky Glue which I’ve found works well for felt crafts. While the felt decorations for the monster are made from light-weight felt and easy for small fingers to handle, the puppet is made from a heavier weight felt that should survives lots of hours of play.
My 4 year old son has already asked to receive more Wonder Boxes. I’ve decided that Santa will gift him and his older sister with a box, and then we’ll do another one for his 5th birthday in April of next year. At $24.99 for one gift box, the Wonder Box would make a great gift for a far-away grandchild. These boxes could also be incorporated into a homeschooling curriculum. You can see 3 sample Wonder boxes here.